Homeownership Rises and Vacancy Rates Drop

David Deem

Vacancy rates have decreased over the past year, according to Census reporting. For the second quarter of 2020, national vacancy rates were 5.7 percent in rental housing and 0.9 percent for homeowner housing.

On the rental front, that's 1.1 percent lower than the rate in Q2 of 2019, and 0.9 percent lower than the first quarter of 2020—a small, but optimistic improvement. In the homeownership space, the rate was 0.4 percent lower than Q2 2019 and 0.2 percent lower than the year's first quarter.
The overall homeownership rate has increased to 67.9 percent—3.8 percentage points higher than the second quarter in 2019 and 2.6 percent higher than 2020's first quarter.
On a regional basis for rentals, vacancy rates in the South and Midwest reported similar numbers at 7.4 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the Northeast had a vacancy rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, while the West was lower at 3.8 percent.
Homeowner vacancy rates were much lower, with all regions reporting statistically similar rates: South (1.0 percent), Northeast (0.9 percent), Midwest (0.7 percent) and West (0.7 percent).
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, an estimated 90.1 percent of housing units in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2020 were occupied, with 9.9 percent vacant. Owner-occupied housing made up 61.2 percent, while 29.0 percent were composed of renter-occupied units.



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